For the second day in a row, three cruise ships arrived in San Diego Friday morning, giving the local tourism industry a shot in the arm.
Celebrity Century brought 2,000 passengers, Princess Cruises' Sapphire Princess, 2,500, and the Disney Wonder had about 2,700 travelers, according to the Port of San Diego. The Celebrity Century and the Sapphire Princess are expected to stay in San Diego until between 5 and 6 p.m. and the Disney Wonder should stick around until about 8 p.m., port officials said.
Even though the industry is expanding globally, San Diego's cruise business has slipped in recent years because of the faltering economy and fear of crime in Mexico.
But Port Commissioner Lee Burdick told the City Council's Economic Development and Strategies Committee earlier this year that the industry would rebound locally in the coming years.
Port officials estimate that 79 ships will stop in San Diego during the cruise season, which continues through May of next year, bringing around 250,000 passengers. Each port call has an economic impact on San Diego of about $2 million, Burdick said.
On Thursday, Holland America's Westerdam and Zuiderdam, and Princess Cruises' Star Princess made local stops, bringing about 6,300 passengers between them.
Port officials warned that all the activity could cause congestion on North Harbor Drive along the waterfront.